ExecutiveChronicles | Being Prepared: 4 Extremely Common Causes of Car and Truck Road Accidents | In just a split second, a person’s life can be irreversibly changed forever in a car accident. What may begin as someone’s momentary attention lapse can end in tragedy for everyone involved.
Car-on-car accidents are dangerous enough, but when you throw a 4,000-pound truck into the mix, or an 18-wheeler weighing 80,000 pounds, the results of an accident are even more destructive. A recent study found that over a 33-month period, there were 120,000 fatal accidents that involved large trucks.
Knowing what causes these accidents is one way of protecting yourself against vehicle damage. These are the four most common causes of car and truck road accidents. If you take extra precautions in these settings, you can ensure that you minimize the risk of an accident and minimize any responsibility you may have for it.
If you do find yourself in an unavoidable accident that wasn’t your fault, seek car damage legal help at the earliest opportunity to access compensation for your car damage and personal injuries.
Acceleration, Braking, and Visibility
While we all like to think of ourselves as good drivers, the reality is that most accidents are not caused by treacherous road conditions or mechanical malfunctions but by human error.
Of these, most accidents occur during one of the above three situations, when the car or truck is accelerating, braking, or has not been seen.
Examples include driving in another vehicle’s blind spot, misjudging the vehicle’s speed in the approach to an intersection, accelerating before the car or truck in front has pulled away, unsafe passing, or pulling out without seeing an oncoming vehicle.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
This is particularly common in trucks and commercial vehicles which drive thousands of miles a week and are subject to vast amounts of wear and tear on their mechanical components.
For commercial vehicles, maintenance crews must maintain the vehicle to an impeccable standard to avoid component failures and accidents. A worn brake pad or faulty windscreen wiper could have fatal consequences.
Although equipment failures appear to be out of the driver’s control, in reality, they are not. It is a driver’s responsibility to ensure their vehicle is fit for use on the roads. Failure to check their vehicle thoroughly or knowingly driving a vehicle that is unfit for use is negligence.
After driver error, which accounts for a staggering 87% of truck crashes, vehicle malfunctions, which account for 10% of crashes, the road conditions or the environment is the next most common cause, causing around 3% of truck accidents.
If a driver has not received training for certain weather patterns, driving a car in rain, snow, and ice can be an exceptionally difficult task, particularly for drivers of a large commercial vehicles.
Drivers must know what speeds are appropriate for what conditions and take the additional stopping time into account. Drivers must also learn appropriate braking techniques to prevent aquaplaning and skidding.
Improper Cargo Loading
Poor cargo loading is a danger in vehicles of all kinds. Car drivers occasionally strap cargo to the car’s roof, and truck drivers drive with heavy cargo loads every day. If the cargo has not been secured correctly, it can very easily become dislodged and cause a serious accident.
These causes account for nearly every accident that takes place on our nation’s roads. Educate yourself and those around you and take every precaution necessary to prevent an accident.
Photo by Nick Tsybenko on Unsplash